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JadranSport was an online social and sport magazine project which reached its peaks in two different eras, both prior to World Cups in football. The first was at the time of the 2002 WC in South Korea and Japan while the second happened during the 2006 WC in Germany. The site had a multi-national outlook and believed that inter-cultural communication and ethnic reconciliation throughout all aspects of society (including sports) should be a future goal for Balkan countries.
The main idea of JS and its founder, Alexander Damir Yovanovich (Serbian (Latin): Aleksandar Damir Jovanović - Serbian (Cyrillic): Александар Дамир Јовановић), was to promote and write about sports, mainly football, regarding countries made out the fall of Yugoslavia and their athletes. Yovanovich believed that the way to reconciliation of Ex-Yugoslav Nations is through sports and friendship based on mutual respect of each other's differences but also similarities. JadranSport was imagined as one of the engines in this process.
Another main character in JS glossary and who also deserves to be credited with JadranSport's greatest moments is Dejan Nikolic (Serbian (Latin): Dejan Nikolić - Serbian (Cyrillic): Дејан Николић)who together with Yovanovich brought JS on a professional level and ensured funding for this project to become the main source of sport news for Former Yugoslav diaspora by 2002.
Yovanovich started JadranSport as an online project in 1998 as a sole contributor and was writing the news he collected through various sources. At the time, the website was based on a free server Homestead and was more of a blog than an actual professional online sport magazine.
Despite this, Yovanovich implemented novelties that made the website interesting mainly to Former Yugoslav diaspora. He was most likely the first person in Former Yugoslavia to broadcast games through Live Text coverage online and he was a firm supporter of giving opinionated news rather than agency-like content.
Shortly after, he met up with Nikolic who wished to collaborate, and as one thing led to another, they decided that JadranSport will go Professional.
Golden Era & Collapse
Led by Yovanovich – Nikolic editorial team, JadranSport's rating was on a high rise between 2000 and 2002. At its peak, JS employed more than fifteen correspondents and columnists and five full-time journalists plus two copy-editors. The result was unique style of writing, production of approximately forty articles, stories and interviews a day with high level of attention given to athletes abroad and support to regional leagues.
As JadranSport was mainly financed from private funds, in 2002. JS decided to collaborate with an outside financier in order to achieve its goal of making the first virtual Encyclopedia regarding World Cups in football. Everything started well, however shortly after, the finances were mainly directed towards the Virtual Encyclopedia rather than to the Online Magazine itself and the structure of JS was soon divided between the core of JS and the financier.
After a long struggle, mentally and financial exhausted, JS crew headed by their editors Yovanovich and Nikolic decided to “slow down” and put the project on hold until better times.
A lot of fan mail was received calling for JS to be brought back online, even donations were offered by the most dedicated readers, however the JS band parted and started walking their own paths. Yovanovich continued working for mostly English and South American media, including football clubs / agent agencies as a scout and collaborating with sport writers throughout the world including The FIFA Centennial Book author Pr. Peirre Lanfranchi and David Goldblatt the author of The Ball Is Round and many other football books. On the other side, Nikolic became an Editor in Chief of a E-Magazine from Belgrade, dealing mostly with business and economy issues.
Two years after JadranSport went offline, a Slovenian based web programmer and developer agency director Saso Petrov managed to convince Yovanovich in re-opening the JadranSport Files. Encouraged by Petrov and some of his former associates, Yovanovich took on a challenge to revive the JS project.
This time, the Online Magazine was presented in English. The rating of JS was slowly rising due to lack of promotion, however the quality of content was in place. Some of the main contributors during this time, apart from Yovanovich himself, were also Igor Krstic, Saša Jovanović, Erik Bickford and many others.
By December 2005. JadranSport started recovering piece by piece, even managing to start a collaboration with Walter Zenga and convincing the former No. 1 World goalkeeper to become a columnist and talks about a possible sponsorship deal with Lotto were opened.
However, shortly after, the entire project fell gradually under the ice as Yovanovich moved to Canada due to personal reasons.